OK. it's special pleasing by an organization that has a stake in the outcome. But still, the results of the ACEEE study released yesterday are plausible and important to always bear in mind, as the United States contemplates how to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and cut carbon emissions. Generally the cheapest way to do that, says ACEEE, is to improve the efficiency with which energy is used throughout the economy rather than increase the amount of energy delivered. In the electricity sector, it says, the cost of acquiring an added widget of efficiency has held fairly steady during the last five years at about 2.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, while costs for new coal- or nuclear-generated electricity have gone up, along with virtually all other generating costs.
Generally, claims ACEEE, new generation will cost three or four times as much as improved conservation.
If you want to know precisely how ACEEE arrives at those figures don't ask me. Read the report.